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Salinas Police Department warns of worsening officer staffing shortage

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV) - The Salinas Police Department is warning of a worsening staffing shortage, which could lead to an impact to officer responses.

Salinas Police Chief Roberto Filice, raised the issue at Wednesday night's Police Community Advisory Committee meeting. He said three officers are set to leave by the end of the year for reasons such as retirements, as well as a candidate not making it through training.

The department is authorized for 161 officers and they currently have 20 positions to fill. Commander Brian Johnson with SPD said if the staffing situation doesn't get better, it could lead to other consequences.

"The chief might have to approach city council about another reduction in calls, that's been something that's been brought up before, just because of staffing, we get a lot of requests from the community about going out and doing either presentation, special projects, things like that. But we have officers getting ordered in on one or two other days off as it is we just don't have the manpower," Commander Johnson said.

He goes on to say, the department is about a year or two away from getting to that point. He also cites competing salaries from other bay area departments making recruiting even more difficult.

Additionally, the department points out that the staffing shortage has resulted in having to prioritize which calls they respond to. Salinas PD currently has seven recruits in the academy, with more lined up for the next round.

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Austin Castro

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